GSA’s Safe Place

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Kelsey French

Through th safe space stickers, GSA hopes to create a safer environment for everyone in the school.

Kelsey French, Writer

This school year, the GSA club created Safe Place Stickers and “How to be a Better Ally” posters. They did this by handing them out to teachers to inform students that their classrooms are in fact, a safe place. This means that these classrooms are a safe place to go discuss certain issues you are facing if you’re an LGBTQ+ member or anyone in general.

English teacher Mrs. Sandi Criswell said, “I think it’s a great idea, and I have personally seen it in action. It allows students to identify teachers who are allies.”

These safe place stickers have been pasted to classroom doors for all students to see when they enter the classroom, allowing students to turn to their teachers in times of need. These classrooms also inform other students that harassment, mean comments, and bullying will not be tolerated and to be kind to all of your classmates.

Criswell also said, “There was one instance, where a student came to me because they saw my safe place sticker on my door, so they knew that they could talk to me even though we hadn’t spoken before that encounter. They knew they could turn to me and that they could trust me.”

This is a major step in representing the LGBGTQ+ community in high school by creating a safe place for students to go to in times of need. The creator of the GSA club, Mrs. Anissa Barber, said, “I think it’s one point for students to at least think that a teacher will be supportive of all students, not just a specific social group. It is supposed to indicate that a teacher will advocate for all students.”

Issues or controversies regarding the LGBTQ+ community are rarely talked about or brought up in discussions within classrooms. However, GSA members hope to change this with the stickers.

Barber also said, “I think the best way to handle controversy among students would be through mediation groups. A student council group, like Link Crew, could hold a sort of court where topics and issues could be worked through. Overall the effect of the safe place stickers has been positive to help students see they have equal support from the teacher. I think it could have a negative impact if students are allowed to rip them off, make fun of them without some discussion as to why the stickers are there. That would be a direct point of discrimination on the very group we are attempting to support.”

GSA hopes that through these safe place stickers, students can grow closer with their teachers, or understand that they are not alone in the issues they face regarding their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This could lead to future discussions in classrooms or open conversations among students and teachers within the school. For now, GSA wants students to know they are safe, and they always have someone to turn to. All you have to do is just look for their safe place stickers.